Clear Writing tips for clear business communication

Clear Writing tips for business communication

Top Clear Writing tips: Keep it simple (Yes KISS)

Sentences that are shorter are easier to read. Sometimes a complex word does say it best, and the right word is a big word. If a shorter word does the job just as well, rather use the simpler one.

Using longer more complex words don’t make you sound smarter. In fact according to studies, the use of long words where a shorter, simpler word would do, makes the writer look less intelligent. Ideally a clarity index of 30 is what we aim for to make our writing readable, and easy to understand. Our lives are complex enough, we don’t have the time or energy to sift through pretentious cluttered writing.

Write as you talk

Fuzzy writing, and words, can obscure clarity. George Bernard Shaw summed it up with his famous quote “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” Long-winded writing makes our message less clear and irritates the reader. Trim the fat, unnecessary words make your writing more difficult to read and understand.

Control sentence length by reading what you have written out loud. Is your writing easy to read? Are your sentences short enough?

Keep to the point

Do the points you make strengthen your overall message or are they just fluff? As a writer, or a speaker, we have to learn to cut the fluff. There are lines and stories we love, but if they do not make the point of the article, or speech, we need to cut them. Fluff is distracting and confusing.

Create out come pictures with your words

We are more visual in nature. Create a clear message through creating clear images. “Don’t think of a red ball” is confusing and almost impossible to do. Say what you mean. “Think of a green ball” is far clearer.clear communcation clear pictures

Beware the assumption!

Often communication fails because writers ignore their own understanding of the subject matter. They ignore the fact that the reader may, or may not, have the same understandings.

Words do not mean the same thing to everyone. They can vary in meaning dramatically from person to person; depending upon their personal experiences and the images the words create.

Top Clear Writing tips: Use stories and analogies to clarify your meaning.

For example ….

The word “Church” – we can look it up in a dictionary, “House of worship” and all technically agree on the meaning. In a room of ten people, how many different images of churches would you have at the mention of the word? Ten? Many images influenced by the way they travelled to the venue that day. Add to that, the emotional response to the word. Ranging from boredom to joy, depending on their personal experiences. With one word, ten different experiences of the concept.

Be careful of assuming we all understand what you mean. Write so you aren’t misunderstood. Write so the meaning is clear.KISS Clear Writing tips Infographic

Clear writing tips

Start with the take-away in mind

Clear Writing tips for business communication

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Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
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